Hurley Children’s Hospital offer free teen heart checks

FLINT – In partnership with the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, Hurley Children’s Hospital is offering FREE Teen Heart Health Checks to students ages 13 to 19 on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Flint Farmer’s Market.

This special program offers an in-depth heart screening that includes a medical history, blood pressure check and an ECG. Echocardiograms will also be provided, if needed.

The screening looks for evidence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a serious condition that can cause sudden cardiac death in young athletes as well as in students engaging in physical activity or exercise.

“Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death in young athletes. This program is saving lives, and detecting serious conditions. A screening only takes 30 minutes, and can offer peace of mind to students and their families, concerned about the risk of sudden cardiac death and premature hypertension,” said Dr. Jim Weber, ER Physician on staff at Hurley.

To register call 810-262-9260 and press option #1. Registration lines open 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday – Friday. For more information and to print your registration packet, go to

1,500 teens between the ages of 13 to 19 have been screened since 2011 to evaluate their heart for abnormalities particularly as it relates to exercise and sudden death. Since these checks began, 18 were told to stop playing sports immediately. Conditions detected include Wolff- Parkinson-White Syndrome, Abnormal Valve Function, Severely Elevated Blood Pressure, 2nd degree AV block Type I, Abnormal Family History, Atrial Septal Abnormality, LV Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy, and LVH Subaortic Stenosis AI. An additional 71 students were told to follow up with their physician.

These free Teen Health Checks are made possible in part by the Thomas Smith Foundation, created in memory of Thomas N. Smith, 17, a Flushing High School senior, who passed away in January, 2011 from an undiagnosed, enlarged heart. Thomas’ memory will live on by helping young athletes through these teen heart screenings. – G.G.

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